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Floriana, Ħamrun meet in top-of-the table clash

Floriana striker Kemar Reid (left) shields the ball against Marsaxlokk. Photo: Dominic Borg

The 2023-24 Premier League resumes with a bang this weekend as pacesetters Floriana and Ħamrun Spartans go head-to-head in a top-of-the-table clash that could have a huge bearing on this season’s title race.

At present, Floriana are enjoying a three-point lead over champions Ħamrun Spartans and a win on Saturday for Mauro Camoranesi’s clan could see the Greens make a significant step towards reclaiming the crown of Malta champions.

On the other hand, Ħamrun Spartans have no margin of error this afternoon and Luciano Zauri’s team will be hellbent on handing the Greens their first defeat in this season’s championship and join them at the top of the standings.

Floriana have been without a doubt the most in-form team in the Premier League this season as apart from being the only team with an unbeaten record, they boast the best scoring record with 25 goals, also holding the top defence with only four goals conceded.

Floriana president Johann Said has played down the significance of today’s match and said that this clash was equally important as the other remaining 14 league matches this season.

“The clash against Ħamrun Spartans is important in the same way as all our remaining Premier League matches,” Said told the Times of Malta.

“We have 15 matches left till the end of the Premier League this season and we need to approach this match with the same attitude and intensity of our previous 11 matches.

“I want to see my players take the field with the mental attitude that we are going out to win all three points from this match. It’s not going to be easy as we are facing a tough opponent but I have a lot of trust in this group of players and the members of the technical staff.”

This week, Floriana have bolstered their squad with the signing of Cape Verde forward Willis Furtado. The 26-year-old has already attended a few training sessions with the team and is expected to be included in the squad for today’s match.

On the other hand, Ħamrun Spartans are boosted by the return to full fitness of skipper Steve Borg who recovered from a muscle injury that forced him to remain on the bench during the 3-1 win over Sta Lucia before the Christmas break.

The Spartans have shown a good level of consistency in terms of results but have not fully convinced with their performances and a victory over Floriana would surely send an important statement of intent of their ability to successfully defend the league title this season.

Ħamrun have yet to delve into the transfer market this month but are likely to make at least one addition this month to ensure they have enough depth to end the campaign on a strong note.

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